CARANO SIDELINED, “DYNAMITE” LOSES FEMALE DRAW

By Loretta Hunt (loretta@thefightnetwork.com)

“Dynamite” has been dealt a blow of its own.

Female fighting sensation Gina Carano has withdrawn from her pending June 2 bout with Jan Finney at K-1 “Dynamite USA!!” due to illness, the Las Vegas native confirmed this afternoon.

Carano, 24, who had just returned from a two-week trip to Thailand where she shot a mentorship role for the Oxygen Channel’s coming season of “Fight Girls,” fell ill at Saturday’s World Extreme Cagefighting event at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and had to be ambulanced to a hospital for dehydration treatment.

“I have been struggling with some intestinal illness since I got back,” says Carano. “I tried to go back to training, to push myself, but it wasn’t going well. I knew I was going to have to come back and cram for this fight, but didn’t expect this. This was a very hard decision.”

The raven-haired stunner has quickly become a draw for MMA fans since her dynamic performance against Julie Kedzie at February 10’s Elite XC’s “Destiny” event, the first live MMA event ever broadcast on a premium channel.

Showtime Networks, which broadcasted the event and has a stake in the Elite XC promotion under its Pro Elite flagship, has championed Carano as a bona fide sports star, interviewing the muay Thai champion at a Showtime-televised boxing event among other appearances.

Carano (4-0) has recently joined UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy CoutureÂ’s Xtreme Couture training compound in Las Vegas and remains a muay Thai teacher at Master Toddy's.

POSTED -- 05/16/07